When breast milk is not an option, what could you feed your newborn
Breastfeeding is meant to be a very important—a very, very magical—part of a woman’s motherhood journey. If you are a mother, you’d probably be a better person than me to explain how breastfeeding helps a mother and child bond.
However, in cases where a new mother cannot breastfeed, it becomes not just a cause of disappointment but also a reason to worry about the baby’s health.
There have been advancements though, and there is a list of alternatives that can come to a new mother and her family’s rescue. We did a little bit of research to help us, and you, understand the alternatives that will make sure that your baby does not miss out on their much-needed nutrition. Here’s what we found:
Donated breast milk
World over, there are communities being formed that let mothers donate their breast milk. This donated breast milk is then made available to mothers who, for whatever reason, are unable to breastfeed their infants.
Pasteurized donor human milk is the next best alternative for infants who cannot be breastfed. Human milk banks ensure hygienic practices are in place for the collection, processing, handling and distribution of the donated breast milk. They also ensure that the donating mothers go through several screening processes to meet all health guidelines.
Cow’s milk formula
A lot of cow’s milk formulas are altered to resemble breast milk that is rich in lactose and make it a good source of energy for your infant. Cow’s milk also makes it easier for your infant to digest the formula. It also helps in calcium absorption and the growth of healthy bacteria.
To ensure all-round development of your child’s brain, nervous system, and eyes, some formulas are also supplemented with omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplements of DHA and ARA, that are also found in breast milk.
Goat’s milk formula
Goat’s milk formulas are probably the closest alternative to mother’s milk, even more than cow’s milk formulas. Another advantage of goat’s milk has over cow’s milk is that it is low in lactose and rich in fats and protein. It is, however, recommended to include supplements like nutritional yeast to compensate for the lack of folic acid and vitamin B12 in goat’s milk.
Soy milk formula
Soy milk formulas are a good alternative for children who are lactose-intolerant. It is also less expensive when compared to the other alternatives.
Coconut milk is rich in lauric acid, a fatty acid that is found in rich quantities in breast milk. Lauric acid is known to build up the immune system, providing protection against fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. Because coconut milk is not a dairy product, it is good for children with dairy-related intolerances.
Mumbai-based Thriive verified therapist, Preksha Gandhi tells us that another good option can be that of the Hemp milk. Hemp milk is loaded with an exhaustive amount of goodness and makes up for a great alternative to breast milk for your infant. It is loaded with minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron), vitamins, fats, proteins and essential amino acids that ensure a well-rounded development for your child. Another plus is that it contains no cholesterol, no sugar, no gluten, and no soy.
Now, what you need to also know is that every child is different and your child’s needs and health will best determine what alternative works for them. Therefore, before you choose an alternative, consult a nutritionist who will help you look at the complete picture and pick the most suitable alternative for your child.
At Thriive, we obviously don’t let you go without making sure you have all that you need. So, click here to get in touch with our certified nutritionists to ensure that your child gets the most holistic nutrition.
Nikita Jhanglani is a technical and creative content writer, editor and book blogger. Currently, she is into world domination, one checklist at a time.